Bonnie Lee Fox Seegmiller, our mother, grandma, sister, aunt and friend, finished her mortal journey on Sunday, May 29, 2022. She was 81 years old.
Bonnie Lee Fox was born on November 12, 1940, to Charles Wray and Leona Nielsen Fox in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the first child in a family that would grow to include four daughters. Bonnie adored her parents and her sisters. They were the foundation of love and laughter in her life.
Bonnie grew up in a Salt Lake City that was different than it is today - it was a small town and her stomping grounds. Driving around the city with her was a walk down memory lane - there was the cemetery where she and her friends used to hang out in, there was the drive-in movie theater where she and her friends got arrested for breaking in, there was her parents’ house, her grandparents’ house, her great-grandparents’ house. Bonnie graduated from Highland High School in its first ever graduating class in 1958. She loved her time in high school and those memories would remain some of her fondest for the rest of her life. She loved her friends, her family, and the city where everything felt attainable, exciting, and familiar.
Bonnie loved her parents. Both Wray and Leona passed away when Bonnie was in her 50s, and she preserved their memory for the rest of her life. Their pictures dotted her walls, she remembered them in family prayers, and she visited their graves every Memorial Day during the annual Fox-family “Break Bread with the Dead” event. She will be buried next to them in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, and we are so grateful her parents had the foresight to purchase a burial plot for her there. They were the loves of her life, along with her children and grandchildren, and she will be with them forever.
Bonnie also loved her three younger sisters, MaryAnn, Suzanne, and Judy. She had a close relationship with each of them, their spouses, and their children. Together, they preserved the closeness of the Fox family through annual celebrations, parties and almost-daily phone calls. Bonnie made sure that her family remembered their roots, and she worked hard to preserve the most important relationships in her life. She will always be remembered as the world’s best big sister.
After high school, Bonnie briefly studied at the University of Utah. She loved learning and reading, and was especially interested in the artistic parts of life. Her taste and artistry played a big part in Bonnie’s interests and career moving forward.
Bonnie married Jay Allen Seegmiller in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 19, 1961 (later divorced). She fell in love with Jay at a young age, and their early years together were filled with adventure and fun. Together they had three children. Steffanie Lyn Seegmiller was born in Salt Lake City in 1964. Her twin boys, Matthew Fox Seegmiller and Christian Jay Seegmiller, were born in Salt Lake City, UT in 1969. Bonnie’s family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1965 and again to Utah in 1966. It was then that Bonnie found her home of 32 years on Summerhill Drive in Sandy. There, she developed life long friendships, many of whom are her closest even today.
Bonnie’s children were the highlight of her life. She loved being a mom, and was so good at it. She knew each of her children’s strengths and encouraged them. She watched as Steff brought home every lost or wounded animal in the neighborhood and let her keep them in the garage until their owners inevitably came knocking. She was Matt and Chris' biggest sports fan and she encouraged their flair for entrepreneurship. She not only attended every baseball game and football game, but often volunteered to keep score at the baseball games. Her children’s friends counted the Seegmiller household as a second home, and Bonnie relished the time she got to spend taking care of not just her kids, but all the kids in the neighborhood.
Bonnie’s kids got the chance to replicate the love and care they learned from their mom at the end of her life when they became her caregivers. They will always be grateful for the time they got to spend taking care of their mom, even when it was difficult. Bonnie raised three amazing people, and reaped the rewards of their lives and decisions throughout her life.
Bonnie defied the odds and the norms of society at the time. She fiercely took care of her family and provided for all of their financial needs, including supporting her two sons as they simultaneously served missions (Chris in Switzerland and Matt in Tennessee) - something she had prayed and hoped for. She was a talented pianist and piano teacher. She was also a self-taught florist and ran her own floral business, Petals, for many years. She created fabric geese, of which she sold thousands. Her geese graced the display windows of many Salt Lake City shops during the 80s and 90s. She also worked for The Humanitarian Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the offices of Dr. Sorensen at Alta View Hospital, as an interior designer at Madsen Furniture, and O.C. Tanner, among other jobs. Her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, faith and determination during difficult times sustained her family and set the tone for her children’s careers.
Bonnie loved being a mother-in-law and grandma. She was so proud of her children in their selection of spouses, and was especially grateful for Mark Bernardy, Amie Woods, and Marci Burt for being a part of her family. Her grandchildren were the joys of her life. She came to all of their games, concerts, recitals, graduations and weddings. Each of her grandchildren felt like they were her favorite, and they were all right. She never missed a birthday, anniversary, or holiday. She was gracious enough to let several of her grandchildren (and a few of their friends!) live in her basement for months or years at a time, and their relationship with her grew as a result (and no, grandma, your TV was never too loud.)
Bonnie had a deep love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Gospel. She served in many callings throughout her life including in the Relief Society and Young Women organizations. The young women adored her and she became a second mother to many of them. She was proud of her pioneer heritage both on the Fox side and through Heber C. Kimball and Ellen Saunders Kimball. Bonnie loved to study her scriptures and talked often of her love and admiration for the prophet Joseph Smith. Through Jesus Christ’s infinite atonement and because of His grace and mercy, Bonnie was able to unconditionally forgive under the most difficult circumstances. Her unwavering faith and unconditional love are some of the most important and incredible legacies she leaves for her family. She loved our Savior and she looked forward to the day when she would be with Him again.
When Bonnie was 64 years old, she decided to serve a mission. She envisioned herself at a Visitor’s Center somewhere in the United States, answering people’s questions and sharing her testimony. God had another plan, however, and Bonnie was called to serve the people of Edinburgh, Scotland as a proselytizing missionary. Her shock almost outweighed her desire to go, but she bravely packed her bags, bid her family farewell, and left for 18 months to live and serve in Scotland. To say she loved her mission is an understatement. It defined the latter years of Bonnie’s life, and instilled a confidence in her that she hadn’t previously experienced. She was an incredible missionary, and she truly loved the people she met while serving in “Bonnie Scotland.” She influenced hundreds of people in her time there, and Sister Seegmiller will never be forgotten on that little island so far from home.
Bonnie lived her last years in the Tithing Hill Condos in Riverton, Utah, and made several amazing friendships during her time here. Her friends and neighbors played a beautiful part in Bonnie’s life, and we’d like to thank them for their love and care for her. Towards the end of her life, Bonnie’s health was precarious. We’d also like to thank the doctors, nurses, EMTs, Suncrest Hospice and Dr. Cory Taylor, our palliative care doctor, who worked so hard toworked so hard to both preserve Bonnie’s life and ensure her death was comfortable and according to her wishes. We are so grateful that Bonnie died at home with her family around her, without pain and in peace. She died the way she lived - with a whole lot of love to go around.
Bonnie loved holidays, baseball, Harry Potter, Audrey Hepburn movies, Costco, her red Keds, books, crossword puzzles, gardening, and all flowers, red geraniums especially. She was a lifelong Democrat (we hope there is CNN in heaven - it was her favorite channel!) Her nephew Charlie teased her that instead of watching the TV, she would read it (the “words” were always on at grandma’s house.) She hated snakes and tolerated all the dogs in her life. She was quick to serve, made the best pumpkin pie and carrot cake in the entire world, and never once complained. She made hard days easier, and brought joy and love to others in ways that can’t really be explained. She encouraged people’s talents and shored up their confidence in themselves. She was always so beautiful, even if she didn’t see it in herself. She lived such a big life, even if she didn’t see that, either. To live life without her seems like an impossible task, but our love for her and memories with her will sustain us till we meet again. To sum up such a beautiful life in a short obituary is difficult, and we’ll never claim to have done it justice.
Bonnie was survived by her three sisters, MaryAnn Erickson, Suzanne Luke, and Judy Fox; her three children, Steffanie Bernardy (Mark), Matt Seegmiller (Amie), and Chris Seegmiller (Marci); her ten grandchildren, Samantha (Taylor), Lauren, Parker (Candice), Johnny, Thomas (Gileanne Marie), Anna, Mia (Tyler), Madison, Jane and Jake; her one great-grandchild, Rose; and several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, her stillborn baby Jay, and many friends. She was ushered into eternity by her dad and mom, who were her heroes and mentors her entire life.
Bonnie’s viewing and funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at Larkin Mortuary in Salt Lake City (260 E S Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT). The public viewing will take place between 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. The funeral services will be held from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m, with a procession and dedication of the grave to follow. Bonnie loved flowers, but if you’d rather, she’d also have loved you to make a donation to a charity of your choice (or buy yourself a ticket to that baseball game you’ve been thinking about.)
Till we meet again, sweet Bonnie. You’ll be dearly missed.
Dear family, we were so sad to hear of your amazing mothers passing. As so many of our wonderful 28th ward friends are leaving us for that more perfect place, we can only have gratitude for being one of your moms friends and ward sisters. She was gracious, kind, warm, and the most perfect example of how to be a good mother, and daughter of our Heavenly Father.
Jeff and I were so sorry we weren’t in town for her celebration of life. Love to all her amazing children.💔
Dear Steffanie, Matt, Chris and Family,
My heart has been filled with such sorrow, to hear of your mum’s passing..
Bonnie brought so much Joy into our lives, here, in Scotland, here in Inverness.
I will forever be eternally grateful, to have had the opportunity to share my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren with Bonnie.
I have, with great fondness, many, many happy memories of Bonnie, while on her Mission here, and of my wonderful visits to Utah. The fun times we had And, where I met Bonnie’s beautiful family.
You welcomed me into your homes and into your hearts. I was extremely humbled by your kindness and love in abundance. I cherish the time I have had with Bonnie and you all and the many lovely people I met along the way. I will never forget that, never.
I will never forget you Bonnie!
Bonnie is, what Bonnie was, a Beautiful lady, inside and out, with such a kind soul and loving heart.
I am extremely sorry, I cannot be there for you and your beautiful family today Bonnie.
But, My love, my thoughts, my prayers and my heart are with you all.
God Bless you Bonnie, Forever in our hearts .
‘ Love you to Bits!!’ and always will!!
Chris, Matt and Stephanie,
Your mother was always a positive influence in my life. I first met her during Jason and Bruce's little league football days. As I got to know her, I learned that she had a gift of making others feel special. She passed that gift on to the 3 of you, as each of you emulate your mother in that way. Your dad was not too bad at it either. Whenever she was in the room, there was a kind and loving spirit that she brought there. I will miss her, but know that each of you will pay it forward with others.
My heart is broken to have to say farewell for awhile to my precious Friend, Bonnie. I'm so glad to know you are saving me a place in line up there by you. You have enriched and blessed my life for many years now. Your struggles are over and you are with your sweet Mom and Dad. I will miss you terribly!
Love from me to you. Your BFF Carol Anne
Steff, Matt and Chris,
My heart just aches for you all as you say good-bye to your sweet mom. I have so many memories of her! Too many to write down, but I'll share some of my favorites: watching Warren Miller ski movies in your garage with Bonnie serving snacks; having her as my young women's leader as a 14 year old; watching "Wait Until Dark" (Audrey Hepburn) in your basement for a young women's sleep over; ordering flowers for dances from "Petals"; seeing the cute geese in store windows downtown; her laugh and the beautiful twinkle in her eyes as she talked to me. She always made me feel like the most important person and I'll never forget that. Bonnie is the epitome of faith, grace and love, even in the face of unbearable trials. Living across the street from her was a gift that I will always treasure. I love and will miss her!